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Who do you spend time with?

September is back to school season and as we prepare for the fall, it is a good time to reflect on what do we need to re-learn ourselves.  One of the things that I have found over the years is that we become like the people that we hang out with.  If we want to be happy, then we should hang out with happy people. In fact, if we find out that we are not happy, then perhaps we are hanging out with the wrong people. So who do you spend time with?

I was at a forming “Mastermind” group in Cranberry Township on Tuesday with other business owners when one of the potential members quoted Jim Rohn “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”  None of the potential members of the group was looking for referrals or networking, they were only looking for support – but what if you can get both in one place and what about your five top referral marketing partners – are the adding to your energy or detracting from it?

Finding support is often a difficult problem for small business owners.  I joined BNI as a strong contract referral network to help me grow my business by being in front of people that would likely be able to send me business as I would be able to send them business. I had no idea that what I bought into was a system designed to make me a better business owner.

What I found over the three years that I have been in a BNI chapter is that I have been exposed to a group of people that has the ability to give me ideas on how I can be better at my business because they are mostly people like me who are small business owners themselves.  And because BNI, like other category exclusive groups, prevents my competition from being in the room we can be more forthcoming about how we do business with one another.

The time we spend with one another is significant – because we meet outside of our ninety minute sales meeting each week to jointly plan how we can find business for one another.  If I am truthful with myself, I have to admit that if I was not doing that with other professionals, I would not do it myself.

When meeting with other people that are your virtual sales force there are a lot of things that you can ask of one another like:

  • How clear am I about what the benefit of working with me are?
  • What are people asking you about my services when you suggest that I might be able to help them with their business?
  • Who else should I be talking to about what I offer?
  • How understandable are my weekly sales presentations?

In our regular interactions we can also brainstorm common business problems like:

  • How do you handle customer complaints?
  • Where have you found sources of policies and procedures to use for your employee manuals?
  • What are you doing about 401k plans?
  • Who handles your social media?

By having one or two of these meetings each week we are able to be much better business owners. We get exposed to ideas that we never would have considered ourselves and our referral partners might have skills that we do not have ourselves.  In fact I find that it is useful for me to review my partners accomplishments, skills and outside interests when meet with them.  Once good thing to ask one another when you met, and it works at casual networking events is “what is the biggest challenge you are having with your business right now?”

If you are going to spend time with people like this on a regular basis then you better make sure that the people are positive and supportive.  When joining a strong contact group, make sure that the people in the room work with you to increase the energy that you have to perform well in your business not detract from it?

What about you? Who do you spend time with? Are they building you up – or are they tearing you down? If you are interested in visiting our BNI chapter and finding people that will build you up, please visit our Facebook page.

 

Creating your OnCore Venture

I have talked a lot about discovery in this blog as a way to provide some background information about who I am, and what my belief system is.  I am a firm believer in authenticity – my own and yours.  As a certified professional coach, I help people create the life they were born to live, at home and at work; which incidentally, to me are now one and the same.

Earlier this week, I introduced the topic of Wellness, which I believe to be a core component of living an OnCore Life.  Today we begin the discussion of creating your OnCore Venture.  As we say in the “about us” page, wellness and ventures go hand in hand.  Core to both is an honest, on-going discovery process.  I will continue to talk here about mine, and also allow others to share their stories in this space.

In deciding on your venture, where do you begin? Recently I shared that I tried making Photography my life after moving on from my Life 2.0 senior executive career. After a while however, I found that path lacking – those hoodoo’s in the photo above are not found in either eastern or western Pennsylvania.  I had arrived there by listening to the voices in my head (we sometimes like to call this intuition but it can be tricky), yet only discussed it with my spouse.  Now, my wife is very aware and supportive, but as a couple, well, we can be like all couples – both dysfunctional and delusional. Hindsight being what it is, I see now that this was merely a stepping stone in a more fulfilling, authentic journey.

I suspect that the way I finally found my OnCore venture is similar for most people. It is a process of interacting with others, getting out of one’s own head, and showing up in new places.  Davidji of the Chopra Center, teaches us to “ask the questions, live the answers.”  The universe is an abundant place and the answers come through synchronicity.  Yes, I started asking what is my purpose in my daily mediation practice, but it was in living the answers that people first started asking if was a coach, and then began telling me that yes, I am a coach.

I share with you what worked for me and what my clients are telling me also works for them. I found my answer for what is evolving into a fulfilling life through a practice of daily mediation, a plain and simple western interpretation of the more rigid eastern principles.  Davidji also teaches that at the Chopra Center “we are not Ayurvedic fundamentalists.” Applied to a daily mediation practice, this means go ahead and be comfortable.  Sit in a comfortable chair. Relax. If you want to stare at a wall and be smacked on the back of the head, by all means, go to a Buddhist Center. But if you want to be comfortable, relax and tune into what the universe is saying to you, find a comfortable place and start asking the questions “Who am I?,” “ What do I want?,” and “What is my purpose?” on a daily basis.

I began my own mediation practice through a Chopra center 21 day mediation challenge. The principle being that if you do something for 21 days it becomes a practice or habit.  Before making a decision on whether or not to try this, realize that it is fundamentally a way of learning to be comfortable with yourself.  Learning to be still. Once you can be still in the silence of meditation, you can then learn to bring that quietness and calm to all areas of your reality. From there, the possibilities are limitless. I came to understand that the thousands of thoughts which enter my mind everyday do not need to be dwelled on. They enter and leave of their own volition. It is my mind that holds on to them and worries about them. I now choose to just let them be.

As you begin to mediate, then start to ask your friends and family what you should do with the rest of your life. If they are like mine, they will not tell you what you really need to hear. If this is the case, find a group of people that will hold your agenda in their hearts and minds as they engage with you in these discussions.

At OnCore Ventures, we conduct monthly Life 3.0 Mastermind groups to discuss how people are transitioning from their current life of working for a living to a new way of launching the work/life they were born to live.

We have a limited number of openings for our July group which meets weekly for one hour on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 PM, beginning on July 11. Participation in the group is free, although there are two required pre-reading assignments. For more information reach out to me at Mastermind, and in the meantime please treat yourself and sign up for a 21 day meditation challenge.  The last one offered was a mind-body odyssey that my life partner and I found to be a refreshing renewal.

What you can expect to get out of the Mastermind group is a clear cut group of options for what your OnCore Venture can be – whether it is to say in play in your current job and change the way that you show up, find a business to create or buy, focus on enjoying your hobby, watching your grandchildren, shopping for the elderly or going back to school.  You will work with others just like you to figure out what’s next for you.